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Affordable homes for vulnerable women, children on the way in Courtenay

CANADA, October 4 - Vulnerable women, their children and families in Courtenay will soon have access to 48 new affordable rental homes as construction has started on a new development.

“These new homes will give vulnerable women and their children security and stability, while having a long-term, positive impact on the Courtenay community,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Our government is proud to work in partnership to deliver homes like these that help people live a happier, healthier life.”

The new building will provide permanent housing for women and gender-diverse people leaving violence, including transgender women, Two-Spirit and non-binary people, along with their children and other vulnerable individuals who are ready to leave second-stage housing.

The housing will be operated by the Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS), which supports people leaving abuse, working toward recovery or overcoming trauma. CVTS also operates second-stage housing for women and gender-diverse people in the community. Guests can stay in second-stage housing for six to 18 months while they prepare for independent living.

“Not having a safe place to call home is precarious and frightening, particularly for women and gender-diverse people, and their children,” said Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “A safe, affordable place to live will make a world of difference for people rebuilding their lives when they can put down roots and a look forward to a more secure future.”

The modular building will have studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Monthly rents will be determined closer to the building opening, and will be well below market rate

“We field multiple calls per day from women of all ages, with and without children, who are seeking to leave an unsafe situation,” said Heather Ney, executive director, CVTS. “This next phase of housing is part of our plan to accommodate the many individuals and families who have been supported at Darry’s Place and allow them to stabilize, heal and plan for the future by providing the much-needed affordable rental housing that has been missing in our community. Secure housing of all kinds changes lives.”

This building is the result of a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, the City of Courtenay, CVTS and Pacific Swell Developments.

“Everyone deserves a good, safe place to call home,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “We’re proud to be working with our partners to create homes like these for women, gender-diverse people and other vulnerable people so that they can stabilize their lives and build a better future. Thank you to the Comox Valley Transition Society and the City of Courtenay for working with us to build a healthier community for everyone.”

Construction is expected to be complete in summer 2024. Comox Valley-based Muchalat Group is constructing the modular building, while Pacific Swell Developments Inc. is leading development work, providing local job opportunities for people in the community.

The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has delivered approximately 77,000 homes that have been completed or are underway, including more than 800 homes in the Comox Valley Regional District.

Quotes:

Rick Browning, chair and co-founder, Pacific Swell Developments Inc. –

"We are thrilled to have played a role in bringing the vision of accessible, quality housing into reality for the community. Collaboration with BC Housing, the City of Courtenay and our seasoned trade and professional associates have been bedrock to our success in tackling the urgent challenge of constructing achievable housing.”

Bob Wells, mayor, City of Courtenay –

“It’s great to see construction starting on this much-needed housing. Future residents will benefit from having stability and financial security, which is especially helpful for those who have had to rebuild their lives after past trauma or abuse. We’re really pleased to see this investment by the provincial government in housing for our community.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through BC Housing, is providing $16.2 million to the project.
  • As is standard for projects that support women and children who have left violence, the address of this project has not been disclosed for safety reasons.

Learn More:

To learn about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/